Brain injury

Acquired brain injury is an injury to the brain that is neither hereditary nor present at birth.

Traumatic brain injury is when there has been a blow, knock or jolt to the head (owing to a car accident, for example) which has interrupted or changed the way the brain has previously functioned. A traumatic brain injury can result in short-term or long-term problems.

A milder form of brain injury may cause symptoms including headaches, dizziness, inability to concentrate and tiredness. For many people, symptoms may last only a few months; for others, sadly, problems may persist indefinitely.

Just as each person is unique, so is each brain injury, in both its severity and its effects. Physical changes, impaired learning and effects on personality are common.

Brain injury, however caused, will often change the way a person behaves and the way in which they face life's emotional challenges. Many victims have problems with memory and may take longer, or find it impossible, to process information in order to make a decision that they would previously have made. The behavioural and emotional consequences are complex, often including mood swings, depression, anxiety, impulsiveness, frustration, being agitated, feeling scared and feeling unable to cope.

Physical effects may include seizures, tiredness, co-ordination and balance problems and headaches, among others.

Brain injury affects not only the victim but their family as well. The ramifications and challenges can seem daunting; the roles and the relationships of family members can change, and their needs are often overlooked.

If you are the victim of a brain injury, of course no-one else is experiencing exactly what you are going through, but there are many people, organisations and charities that are there for you. They have witnessed other people's journeys through similar situations and can help you cope with and adjust to the changes created by the brain injury. You are not on your own: they can support and guide you through each challenge ahead.

Like us, there are other people who care, and we are happy to help put you in touch with these organisations.